14 things that are obsolete in 21st century schools

14 things

Saying that it has always been this way, doesn’t count as a legitimate justification to why it should stay that way. Teacher and administrators all over the world are doing amazing things, but some of the things we are still doing, despite all the new solutions, research and ideas out there is, to put it mildly, incredible.

I’m not saying we should just make the current system better… we should change it into something else.

I have compiled a list of 14 things that are obsolete in 21st century schools and it is my hope that this will inspire lively discussions about the future of education.

1. Computer Rooms

The idea of taking a whole class to a computer room with outdated equipment, once a week to practice their typewriting skills and sending them back to the classroom 40 minutes later, is obsolete.

Computers or technology shouldn’t just be a specific subject, that’s not sufficient anymore but rather it should be an integral part of all the subjects and built into the curriculum.

2. Isolated classrooms

Classrooms can be isolated in two ways. One where parents, teachers or guests are not welcome because the door and drapes are always shut… which has the words “Don’t come in here” written all over it. The other way is is being isolated to all the knowledge outside the 4 walls. For example from the internet, videos, blogs, websites and visits from authors or scientists through Skype, to name a few.

Tony Wagner, the author of the Global Achievement Gap says: “Isolation is the enemy of improvement”. The classroom should be open, teachers should be able to walk in and learn from each other, parents should visit often, f.x. with so called Extra Open Schooldays (where all parents are encouraged to visit classrooms anytime during the day). Isolated classrooms are therefore obsolete.

3. Schools that don’t have WiFi

Schools that don’t have a robust WiFi network for staff and students are not only missing a big change for teaching and learning but robbing the students of access to knowledge and also limiting their chances to learn about the internet and using technology in a safe way.

21st century schools make it possible for students and staff to learn anywhere, anytime and schools that don’t allow that are obsolete.

4. Banning phones and tablets

Taking phones and tablets from students instead of using them to enhance learning is obsolete. We should celebrate the technology students bring and use them as learning tools.

Phones are no longer just devices to text and make phone calls… when they were, then banning them was OK. Today there is more processing power in the average cellular telephone than NASA had access to when they sent a man to the moon in 1969. Yet most students only know how to use these devices for social media and playing games.

Today you can edit a movie, make a radio show, take pictures, make posters, websites, blog, tweet as a character from a book, have class conversations over TodaysMeet and Google most answers on a test with the device in your pocket. We should show our students the learning possibilities & turn these distractions into learning opportunities that will reach far outside the classroom.

5. Tech director with an administrator access

Having one person responsible for the computer system, working from a windowless office in the school basement, surrounded by old computers, updates the programs and tells the staff what tech tools they can and cannot use… is obsolete.

Today we need technology co-ordinators that know what teachers and students need to be successful and solves problems instead of creating barriers. Someone who helps people to help themselves by giving them responsibility and finds better and cheaper ways to do things.

6. Teachers that don’t share what they do

Teachers who work silently, don’t tweet, blog and discuss ideas with people around the world are obsolete. Teachers are no longer working locally but globally and it’s our job to share what we do and see what others are doing. If a teacher is no longer learning then he shouldn’t be teaching other people.

We should all be tweeting, blogging and sharing what works and doesn’t work, get and give advice to and from co-workers around the world. We should constantly be improving our craft because professional development isn’t a 3 hour workshop once a month but a lifelong process.

“We do not learn from experience…we learn from reflecting on experience.” -John Dewey

7. Schools that don’t have Facebook or Twitter

Schools that think putting a news article on the school website every other week and publish a monthly newsletter is enough to keep parents informed are obsolete.

The school should have a Facebook page, share news and information with parents, have a Twitter account and their own hashtag, run their own online TV channel where students film, edit and publish things about school events.

If you don’t tell your story, someone else will.

8. Unhealthy cafeteria food

School cafeterias that look and operate almost like fast food restaurants where staff and students get a cheap, fast and unhealthy meals are obsolete.

A few schools in Iceland and Sweden have turned almost completely to organic foods and given thought into the long term benefit of healthy food rather than the short term savings of the unhealthy. For example at Stora Hammar school in Sweden 90% of the food served is organic.

Children should put the food on their own plate, clean up after themselves and even do the dishes. Not because it saves the school money on workforce but because it is a part of growing up and learning about responsibility. What 21st century schools should be doing as well is growing their own fruits and vegetables where students water them and learn about nature. Setting up a farm to feed students would be optimal, but if that is not an option (for example in big city schools) then they can at last set up a windowfarm in some of the school windows.
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The goal with providing students a healthy meal is not only to give them enough nutrition to last the school day but to make healthy food a normal part of their daily life and get them to think about nutrition which is something that will benefit them for the rest of their lives.

9. Starting school at 8 o’clock for teenagers

Research has shown over and over again that teenagers do better and feel better in schools that start later. Often parents or administrators needs get in the way of that change. Research (f.x. from the The Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics) show that delaying school start as little as 50 minutes and making it longer by 30 minutes instead has a positive effect both on learning and activities after school. Schools that don’t do this are obsolete.

Starting later is easy and teachers could use the extra time in the morning to prepare class… it’s a win-win situation.

10. Buying poster-, website- and pamphlet design for the school

When your school needs a poster, pamphlet or a new website they shouldn’t buy the service from somewhere else (although that can sometimes be the case) and have students do it instead. In the best schools of the future, they will be the ones doing it as a real project that has meaning and as a collaborative project in language and art….using technology.

11. Traditional libraries

Libraries that only contain books and chess tables are obsolete.

A 21st century library should be at the heart of the school and a place where both students and staff can come in to relax, read, get advice, access powerful devices, edit videos, music, print in 3D and learn how to code to name a few. This 21st century learning space should give people an equal chance to use these devices and access information. Otherwise these libraries will turn into museums where people go to look at all the things we used to use.

12. All students get the same

Putting kids in the same class because they are born in the same year is obsolete. School systems were originally set up to meet the needs of industrialism. Back then we needed people to work in factories, conformity was good and nobody was meant to excel or be different in that environment. That doesn’t fit our needs today, let alone the future but many schools are still set up like the factories they were meant to serve a 100 years ago.

We should increase choice, give children support to flourish in what interests them and not only give them extra attention in the things they’re bad at. In most schools, if you are good in art but bad in german you get german lessons to get to par with the other students instead of excelling at art… All even, all the same!

Education should be individualised, students should work in groups regardless of age and their education should be built around their needs.

13. One-Professional development-workshop-fits-all

A school that just sends the entire staff to a workshop once a month where everyone get the same are obsolete. Professional development is usually top down instead of the ground up where everyone get what they want and need. This is because giving everyone (including students) what they need and want takes time & money.

With things like Twitter, Pinterest, articles online, books, videos, co-operation & conversations employees can personalize their professional development. (Read about my article on Personalized Professional Development here)

14. Standardized tests to measure the quality of education

Looking at standardized tests to evaluate whether or not children are educated or not is the dumbest thing we can do and gives us a shallow view of learning. The outcomes, although moderately important, measure only a small part of what we want our kids to learn and by focusing on these exams we are narrowing the curriculum. Alfie Kohn even pointed out a statistically significant correlation between high grades on standardized tests and a shallow approach to learning.

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The world today and the needs of the society are completely different to what they used to be. We are not only training people to work locally but globally. With standardized test, like PISA, we are narrowing the curriculum, and all the OECD countries are teaching the same thing. Because of that we all produce the same kind of workers, outdated workers, to work in factories. People who can comply, behave and be like everybody else.

In the global world today it is easy to outsource jobs to someone who is willing to do the same job, just as fast for less money. Therefore we need creative people that can do something else and think differently.

Andrea Schleicher (2010) said: “Schools have to prepare students for jobs that have not yet been created, technologies that have not yet been invented and problems that we don’t know will arise.”

Standardized education might have been the answer once but saying that it’s obsolete is putting it mildly and is only a way to try to repair the broken system. Results of those tests are, according to Daniel Pink (2005) in direct contradiction to the skills we need today. Those skills are for example design, story, symphony, empathy, play, and meaning.

We should be solving real problems, asking questions that matter instead of remembering and repeating facts. Adults’ accomplishments are linked far more strongly to their creativity than IQ (source) and we should be celebrating diverse knowledge and interest instead of trying to standardise knowledge and skills.

I wonder if schools would finally change their direction if we designed a new standardize test that wouldn’t measure numeracy, science and literacy but empathy, creative thinking and communication skills… Maybe that is all we need.

Final thoughts

All the education systems on the planet are being reformed, but I don’t think reform is what we need. We need a revolution and change the education system into something else. It isn’t an easy task, but as S.E. Phillips once said:

Anything worth having, is worth fighting for.

Doing something new and getting poor results on the old test shouldn’t surprise anyone. What is the point of doing something new and different if we get the same results on standardized tests… then we might as well just do factory schooling, conform and comply.

If I had asked the people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses” – Henry Ford

That is exactly what we are doing today. We are asking our students to remember more, write better and repeat faster then before… just like we wanted the faster horse, when really we should be asking for the car. Sure the car wasn’t better than the horse in the beginning and our education system won’t be perfect either. It will never be perfect, it should be constantly evolving and we should strive to make it better every day.

I don’t know what a perfect education system looks like, and don’t think it even exist. But I believe that if we talk, try something different, fail forward, investigate and share what we do, not only locally but globally, we can get a lot closer.

If you want to see change in education, you should start in your own classroom.

“Education can be encouraged from the top-down but can only be improved from the ground up”

- Sir Ken Robinson

Ingvi Hrannar Ómarsson

Source: http://ingvihrannar.com/14-things-that-are-obsolete-in-21st-century-schools/

Top 100 Innovation Articles of 2013

We launched Innovation Excellence on August 1, 2011 and so 2013 was our second full year of operations. To celebrate we’ve pulled together the Top 100 Innovation Articles of 2013 from our archive of over 6,000 innovation-related articles from more than 300 contributing authors.

Click the link if you missed last year’s Top 100 Innovation Articles of 2012.

We do some other rankings too. At the beginning of each month we will profile the twenty posts from the previous month and we also publish a weekly Top 10 as part of our Innovation Excellence Weekly email and FREE MAGAZINE, so an annual Top 100 seems like a logical fit.

We lost a bit of data to corruption in some of the web server statistics files, but with the annual data that remained and our Top 20 lists from the months that were lost, we’ve pieced together this list.

Did your favorite make the cut?

But enough delay, here are the 100 most popular innovation posts of 2013 (each receiving 5,500 – 44,500+ page views):

- See more at:http://www.innovationexcellence.com/blog/2014/01/05/top-100-innovation-articles-of-2013/

Top 20 Innovation Articles from Innovation Excellence – November 2013

These are the top 20 innovation articles published in Innovation Excellence in November 2013  

1.       Zombie Management: 5 Tips to Keep Your Team from Going Brain Dead – by Holly G Green

2.       The Evolution of Strategy – by Greg Satell

3.       Process Innovation – Zara – by Tomislav Buljubasic

4.       Where Should Marketing Innovation Come From? – by Braden Kelley

5.       Are Stereotypes Keeping Women Away From Science? – INFOGRAPHIC

6.       Raw Creativity: Think like a child again – by Jérôme Provensal

7.       Companies Connect Same Dots in Different Ways – by Braden Kelley

8.       Separating Entrepreneurs from Corporate Innovators – by Jeffrey Phillips

9.       Innovation Performance: ‘Beyond Predictable’ – by Paul Hobcraft

10.   Invent the Future of Innovation – by Mari Anixter –

11.   Keep Calm and Mind the Innovation Gap – by Paul Hobcraft

12.   Lean v. Innovation…Wrong Question! – by Matthew E. May

13.   Managing Innovation Portfolios – Strategic Portfolio Management – by Ralph Ohr and Kevin McFarthing

14.   When It Pays To Listen To Users…And When It Doesn’t – by Matthew E. May

15.   Design’s Role in Innovation – VIDEO

16.   Do You Have a Bias for Action? – by Holly G Green

17.   Why the Future of Digital Commerce is the Omnichannel – by Greg Satell

18.   The Truth About Your Network – by Deborah Mills-Scofield

19.   Innovate Your Business Model… Or Die – by Holly G Green

20.   The State of Business Innovation Today – by Jeffrey Baumgartner –


BONUS – Here are four more strong articles published the last week of the month:

  Source: www.innovationexcellence.com

Top 20 Innovation Articles – Innovation Excellence – July 2013

futuro-3.jpg1. 10 Emerging Educational Technologies & How They Are Being Used Across the Globe – by Saga Briggs

2. Ideation and the 90:10 Rule – by Matthew Griffin

3. Your Personality, Creativity and Innovation – by Lynda Koster

4. Leadership, Not Process, is the Keystone of Innovation – by Jorge Barba

5. The Courage of Empathy – Why We Have Got It All Wrong – by Lyden Foust

6. Success Practices in Co-Creation (enter the wild west!) – by Doug Williams

7. 4 Ways Open Innovation Can Drive Your Business Forward – by Greg Satell

8. Integrating Open Innovation at Tate & Lyle – by Kevin McFarthing

9. “A Little Night Music” with Clayton Christensen – by Nicolas Bry

10. Balancing Innovation via Organizational Ambidexterity – by Ralph Ohr and Frank Mattes

11. Too Busy to Innovate – by Jeffrey Phillips

12. Will Entrepreneurship Create the New World? – by Janet Sernack

13. Going Against the Crowd – by Jeffrey Baumgartner

14. Disruptus: It’s the Game Designed to Open Every Mind – by Julien Sharp

15. Internal Innovation Networks – foundation for success – by Eugene Ivanov

16. If You Aren’t Scared, You Aren’t Leading – by Deborah Mills-Scofield

17. Big Ideas and Process Excellence – by Simon Hill

18. Liberty: the True Innovation, Stronger than the Storm – by Julie Anixter

19. Five Steps to More Engaged Employees – by Holly Green

20. Patrick Le Quément: Office Design Shaping a Creative Mind – by Nicolas Bry

BONUS – Here are four more strong articles published the last week of the month:

Source: http://www.innovationexcellence.com/blog/2013/08/04/top-20-innovation-articles-july-2013/

Global Innovation Index 2013

Geneva, July 1, 2013 – The United States rejoined the five most-innovative nations and the United Kingdom moved up to the third spot while Switzerland retained its place atop the rankings in the Global Innovation Index 2013, published by Cornell University, INSEAD, and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

Despite the economic crisis, innovation is alive and well. Research and development spending levels are surpassing 2008 levels in most countries and successful local hubs are thriving. A group of dynamic middle- and low-income countries – including China, Costa Rica, India, and Senegal – are outpacing their peers, but haven’t broken into the top of the GII 2013 leader board.

This year’s report casts additional light on the local dynamics of innovation, an area which has remained under-measured globally. It shows the emergence of original innovation eco-systems, and signals a needed shift from a usual tendency to try and duplicate previously successful initiatives.

“Dynamic innovation hubs are multiplying around the world despite the difficult state of the global economy. These hubs leverage local advantages with a global outlook on markets and talent.” said WIPO Director General Francis Gurry. “For national-level policy makers seeking to support innovation, realizing the full potential of innovation in their own backyards is often a more promising approach than trying to emulate successful innovation models elsewhere.”

The GII 2013 looked at 142 economies around the world, using 84 indicators including the quality of top universities, availability of microfinance, venture capital deals – gauging both innovation capabilities and measurable results. Published annually since 2007, the GII has become a chief benchmarking tool for business executives, policy makers and others seeking insight into the state of innovation around the world. This year’s study benefits from the experience of its Knowledge Partners: Booz & Company, the Confederation of Indian Industry, du and Huawei, as well as of an advisory board of 14 international experts. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon joined the authors of the report and its Knowledge Partners in presenting the GII 2013 findings at the High-Level Segment of the United Nation’s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). The High Level Segment, held July 1-4 in Geneva, brings together heads of state, ministers and heads of international agencies, this year focusing in particular on the role of science, technology and innovation and the potential of culture in achieving the Millennium Development Goals and promoting sustainable development.

top ten 2013 rankings

Switzerland and Sweden’s performance reflects the fact that both countries are leaders in all components (pillars) of the GII, consistently ranking in the top 25. The United Kingdom has a well-balanced innovation performance (ranking 4th in both input and output), in spite of a relatively low level of growth in labor productivity. The United States continues to benefit from its strong education base (especially in terms of top-rank universities), and has seen strong increases in software spending and employment in knowledge-intensive services. The US was last in the GII top 5 in 2009, when it was number one.

“The results of the GII provide testimony to the global nature of innovation today. The top 25 ranked countries on the GII are a mix of nations from across the world – North America, Europe, Asia, Oceania and the Middle East. While high income economies dominate the list, several new players have increased their innovation capabilities and outputs. On average, high-income countries outpace developing countries by a wide margin across the board in terms of scores; a persistent innovation divide exists,” stressed Mr. Soumitra Dutta, co-editor of the report and Anne and Elmer Lindseth Dean, Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University.

“Business, government and civil society all offer new solutions and fresh ways of collaborating to spur innovation at local, national and even global levels,” said Mr. Bruno Lanvin, the report’s co-editor and Executive Director of INSEAD’s European Competitiveness Initiative. “In fact, innovation is rapidly becoming a rallying symbol for forces of progress and reform around the world. Although our findings show that daunting challenges remain for many new players, we also see exciting examples of innovation success, including in some of the poorest countries. This is a source of optimism about the future of global innovation and economic recovery.”

2013 top rankings by region

 How “Innovation Learners” Can Leverage Their Strengths

 Among the encouraging signs identified by GII 2013, 18 emerging economies are outperforming other countries in their respective income groups in order of distance: the Republic of Moldova, China, India, Uganda, Armenia, Viet Nam, Malaysia, Jordan, Mongolia, Mali, Kenya, Senegal, Hungary, Georgia, Montenegro, Costa Rica, Tajikistan and Latvia. All of them demonstrate rising levels of innovation compared with their peers. Even if progress is not uniform, this is a result of tackling the formulation of a good policy-mix on all meaningful fronts: institutions, skills, infrastructures, integration to global markets and linkages with the business community.

By and large, Latin America is the region that has seen the most significant improvement in GII rankings, with Costa Rica taking the lead regional position.

“Underperforming countries can boost their innovation capabilities by developing hubs in which large companies, whose business goals are aligned with the objectives of the innovation hub, can play a key catalyst role,” said Barry Jaruzelski, Senior Partner and leader of the Global Engineered Products & Services Practice at Booz & Company. “Enterprise champions, including state-owned enterprises, family-owned conglomerates, and multinational corporations, can be the critical drivers of innovation hub activities. These enterprise champions can facilitate the building of hub capabilities and their talent pools by stimulating innovation and by helping to bridge the gap between research and commercial success.”

Innovation Leaders and “Innovation Learners”

The GII 2013 shows a striking pattern of stability among the most innovative nations. Whether we look at the top 10 or top 25 innovators in the world, GII rankings show that that while individual countries swap their respective rankings within these groups, not a single country moved in or out of such groups in 2013.

One interpretation of this is that innovation success leads to the emergence of a virtuous circle: once a critical threshold has been reached, investment attracts investment, talent attracts talent, and innovation generates more innovation.

Through several of its analytical chapters, the 2013 edition of GII explores how innovation has benefitted from ‘local specifics’ in different parts of the world. One key message is that too many innovation strategies have been focused on trying to replicate previous successes elsewhere, like Silicon Valley in California. However, fostering local innovation requires strategies that should be deeply rooted in local comparative advantages, history and culture. They should be combined with a global approach to reach out to foreign markets, and attract overseas talent.

“The local dynamics of innovation varies considerably across the globe and influences innovation measurement at the unit level. Learning from the local innovation systems adds newer dimensions to existing measurement approaches and challenges. The focus of this year’s GII makes it a valuable guide for the policy makers to develop specific strategies relevant to their local Innovation eco-system,” said CII Director General Chandraji Banerjee.

“The creation of an environment that could unleash the potential for innovation for all in a sustainable manner is the way to unlocking the true, tangible potential of value creation; it will lay the groundwork for societal change and develop a framework for cohesive synergies through collaboration. The unprecedented socio-economic momentum that has been created in the last few decades in the United Arab Emirates makes this country very well positioned to continue to play a pivotal role in this exciting journey as a regional hub for innovation,” said Osman Sultan, Chief Executive Officer of du.Research and Development Strong.

On the research and development (R&D) front, GII 2013 brings a dose of cautious optimism: despite adversity and tightened budget policies, R&D expenditures have grown since 2010. On the business front, the R&D expenditures of top 1,000 R&D spending companies have grown between 9 and 10 % in 2010 and 2011. A similar pattern has been observed in 2012.

A most remarkable characteristic of that trend is that emerging markets have increased their R&D faster than high-income countries. Over the last five years, China, Argentina, Brazil, Poland, India, Russia, Turkey and South Africa (in that order) have been at the forefront of this phenomenon. Emerging markets, and notably China, are also largely driving the growth in patent filings worldwide.

“Growing research and development investments and the rising number of intellectual property patents filed are tangible examples of a growing commitment to innovation,” said Mr. Li Yingtao, Head of Huawei’s 2012 R&D laboratories. “In the global economy, innovation from anywhere can drive change and create new opportunities everywhere. Everyone concerned with innovation as a catalyst for economic and social development needs to remain focused on how the value of innovation is to transform industries, businesses and people’s lives, not just locally but across the world.”

innovation per income bracket

 About the Global Innovation Index

 The Global Innovation Index 2013 (GII), in its 6th edition this year, is co-published by Cornell University, INSEAD, and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO, a specialized agency of the United Nations).

The core of the GII Report consists of a ranking of world economies’ innovation capabilities and results. Recognizing the key role of innovation as a driver of economic growth and prosperity, and the need for a broad horizontal vision of innovation applicable to developed and emerging economies, the GII includes indicators that go beyond the traditional measures of innovation such as the level of research and development.

In just 6 years, the GII has established itself as the premier reference among innovation indices, and has evolved into a valuable benchmarking tool to facilitate public-private dialogue, whereby policymakers, business leaders and other stakeholders can evaluate progress on a continual basis.

To support the global innovation debate, to guide polices and to highlight good practices, metrics are required to assess innovation and related policy performance. The Global Innovation Index (GII) creates an environment in which innovation factors are under continual evaluation, including the following features:

  • 142 country profiles, including data, ranks and strengths and weaknesses on 84 indicators
  • 84 data tables for indicators from over 30 international public and private sources, of which 60 are hard data, 19 composite indicators, and 5 survey questions
  • A transparent and replicable computation methodology including 90% confidence interval for each index ranking (GII, output and input sub-indices) and an analysis of factors affecting year-on-year changes in rankings

The GII 2013 is calculated as the average of two sub-indices. The Innovation Input Sub-Index gauges elements of the national economy which embody innovative activities grouped in five pillars: (1) Institutions, (2) Human capital and research, (3) Infrastructure, (4) Market sophistication, and (5) Business sophistication. The Innovation Output Sub-Index captures actual evidence of innovation results, divided in two pillars: (6) Knowledge and technology outputs and (7) Creative outputs.

The index is submitted to an independent statistical audit by the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission. To download the full report visit: www.globalinnovationindex.org.

Source: http://www.globalinnovationindex.org/content.aspx?page=press-release

Top 20 Innovation Articles – May 2013- Innovation Excellence -

Top 20 Innovation Articles - May 2013Here are May’s twenty most popular innovation posts in Innovation Excellence (each receiving 3,500 – 11,700 page views):

  1. Entrepreneurs Define Risk Differently – by Deborah Mills-Scofield
  2. 5 Trends That Will Drive the Future of Technology – by Greg Satell
  3. Deloitte Survey – How Millennials See Innovation – by Paul Hobcraft
  4. Apple’s Innovation Problem – by Greg Satell
  5. Embrace Self-Disruption Using the Business Model Canvas – by Doug Williams
  6. Creativity, Innovation and Cake – by Jeffrey Baumgartner
  7. How to Suck at Leadership – by Holly G Green
  8. modelH – Health Model Co-Creation Forum (part 3) – by Kevin Riley
  9. 25 Things Successful Educators Do Differently – by Julie DeNeen
  10. Big Data Collides with Market Research – by Brigid Kilcoin
  11. Don’t Kill your Organisation! Build a High Performance Innovation Team – by Matthew Griffin
  12. Language Is Killing Our Ability To Innovate – by Lyden Foust
  13. Every Business Is (Or Should Be) a Social Business – by Deborah Mills-Scofield
  14. Las Ocho I’s de la Innovación Infinita – by Braden Kelley
  15. Announcing IX Research: Research for Innovation Practitioners – by Doug Williams
  16. modelH – Health Model Co-Creation Forum (part 2) – by Kevin Riley
  17. Innovate Your Process – by Paul Sloane
  18. Innovation: a Case for Entitlement (really!) – by Deborah Mills-Scofield
  19. So how will we Innovate in the Future? – by Paul Hobcraft
  20. The Potential and Peril of Radical Innovation – by Greg Satell

BONUS – Here are four more strong articles published the last week of the month:

Source: http://www.innovationexcellence.com/blog/2013/06/01/top-20-innovation-articles-may-2013/?goback=.gde_1953902_member_246312999

10 Hot Trends of Innovation and Entrepreneurship in 2013

by Amir Raveh

Back in 2006 a British VC investor had told me that he decided not to invest in a social project called Facebook. He explained that his decision was based on the three main parameters that a successful start-up should have: An experienced team, a unique product and a big market. We all know how that turned out.
3d_print
Many of us are looking to for the next Facebook. After leading dozens of entrepreneurship and innovation workshops and courses, all over the world, I have been exposed to hundreds of new business idea here are my predictions for the 10 hottest trends in innovation and entrepreneurship in 2013:

 

  1. My PA: This will be the year of personalized applications – our mobile device will become our ultimate personal assistant.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FaSL8lp5-4g
  2. Control freak: The remote control devices will expand to reign over the entire home – Internet connectivity will reach  our refrigerators, heating system, home security, etc..
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KjSI_nQPCnk
  3. Cash is (not) king: Alternative payment systems (sch as mobile wallet) will become widespread. the way we pay and how we perceive the concept of money will be transformed.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6vblKSMxdM
  4. Talk to me: New, more human ways of communicating with machines via speech and gesture will become more commonplace.Computers will understand us better, with emphasis on user experience.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5C1nADiC6OE
  5. Print me a Tea Cup: Democratization of production – 3Dprinters will allow quick, local production of a wide variety of products.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQHnMj6dxj4
  6. Online fundraising: Social platforms for raising capital through the crowds – creating a platform for financing ventures without the need to issue the stock market.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGjpZrKzdjw
  7. Global teams (Programmer from the Philippines, Designer from Uruguay):  Social platforms to create and share global work teams. Online platforms will allow  the Formation of teams and business partnerships regardless of physical location. No more small discussions with a limited amount of people.Anyone can form an expanded global think tank.
    http://www.jvme.com/new/
  8. Buying for cheap is ON: Upgraded online trading platforms and smart consumption – improved infrastructure, more smart comparisons tools, creating tools recommended for social purchasing options. Due to the recession, modern society will invent ways to improve consumption.
    http://www.pikaba.com/
  9. No need for a doctor:  Personalized medicine computer (mapping DNA / genome) – will give us the ability to treat people based on their DNA and the ability to predict diseases.
    https://www.23andme.com/
  10. How is your energy? Systems to create cleaner and cheaper energy.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tuisda1q6ns

These are my predictions for 2013, but the largest and most significant innovation in recent years is that we are a generation who can make our dreams a reality, as Yanki Margalit, social entrepreneur and personal friend, put it nicely:

We are so lucky; we are living in an age of – dream it! Make it!

Source: http://insme.wordpress.com/2013/04/16/10-hot-trends-of-innovation-and-entrepreneurship-in-2013/

Frugal Innovation: A New Business Paradigm

By Navi Radjou and Jaideep Prabhu

GUEST COMMENTARY: What do Renault-Nissan, Siemens, and Unilever have in common? They are all pioneers of a groundbreaking business strategy called frugal innovation.

Frugal innovation is the ability to generate considerably more business and social value while significantly reducing the use of scarce resources. It’s about solving—and even transcending—the paradox of “doing more with less”. Frugal innovation is a game-changing strategy for an “Age of Austerity” in which firms are being compelled by cost-conscious and eco-aware consumers, employees, and governments to create offerings that are simultaneously affordable, sustainable, and of high quality. Even more than a strategy, frugal innovation is a whole new mindset, a flexible approach that perceives resource constraints not as a debilitating challenge but as a growth opportunity.

Paul Polman, the no-nonsense CEO of Unilever, is a corporate leader who strongly believes that resource scarcity can be a catalyst for radical innovation. He recognizes that, at our current rate of consumption, by 2030 we would need two planets to supply the resources we need and to absorb our waste. Polman wants Unilever to harness its brand reputation and scale to address this challenge. He has set a bold objective for Unilever to double its revenues by 2020 while reducing its environmental impact by 50 percent.

To implement his daring “do more with less” strategy, Polman is infusing frugality into all aspects of Unilever’s business. For instance, Unilever currently obtains nearly 25 percent of its agricultural raw materials from sustainable sources and uses lower-emission trucks to distribute its products. Meanwhile, its R&D teams are reformulating all its existing products like soaps and detergents to use less water and packaging and pollute less. Unilever has already introduced many frugal products in European countries hit hard by the economic crisis. In Spain, for example, Unilever is selling its Surf detergent in smaller packs for five washes only, and in Greece it now offers mayonnaise and mashed potatoes in smaller packages. The company has also introduced low-cost brands of tea and olive oil in European markets.

Frugal Innovation: The Secret Weapon of Emerging Markets

Unilever’s frugal offerings in Europe are inspired by emerging markets such as India, a country where the company has for years distributed soaps and shampoo in individual units or small sachets to millions of cost-conscious rural consumers.

Emerging markets such as India, China, Africa, and Brazil are a breeding ground for frugal innovation. In our book Jugaad Innovation, we show how inventive entrepreneurs and firms in emerging markets are able to innovate in resource-constrained settings and create frugal solutions that deliver more value to customers at lower cost. For instance, millions of Kenyans today rely on M-PESA, a service that enables them to save, spend, and transfer money using their cell phones without having a bank account. Likewise, SELCO provides solar energy at very low prices to over 125,000 households in remote Indian villages, debunking the myth that poor people can’t afford clean technology. Or take Gustavo Grobocopatel, an Argentinian farmer who overcame scarcity of land and skilled labour by subcontracting all farming work to networks of small firms. By scaling up his “asset-light” business model, Grobocopatel has boosted his agricultural output without adding more resources.

All these creative entrepreneurs in emerging markets share a unique mindset—which we call jugaad. Jugaad is a Hindi word meaning an innovative fix or an improvised solution born from ingenuity and cleverness. It is this jugaad mindset that enables these entrepreneurs to find opportunity in adversity and concoct frugal solutions using limited resources.

Shifting The Corporate Mindset In The West

In the end, frugal innovation is not just a drastically different way of innovating or even a radical new way of running a business—it is about fundamentally shifting the corporate mindset. As Albert Einstein famously stated: “One cannot solve a problem with the same mindset that created it in the first place.”

Western CEOs need to develop the jugaad mindset in their organisations so they can perceive scarcity as an opportunity to innovate and leverage employees’ ingenuity to create frugal solutions that offer greater value to customers at lower cost. These CEOs can emulate Unilever’s Paul Polman as well as Renault-Nissan’s Carlos Ghosn and Siemens’ Peter Löscher—visionary leaders who have successfully infused the jugaad mindset within their organisations.

Take Carlos Ghosn, the CEO of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. In 2006, Ghosn coined the term “frugal engineering”—inspired by Indian engineers’ ability to innovate cost-effectively (and swiftly) under extreme resource constraints. As Ghosn points out: “In the West, when we face huge problems and we lack resources, we tend to give up (too) easily. Jugaad is about never giving up!” Under Ghosn’s leadership, Renault-Nissan has proactively adopted frugal engineering—and the underlying jugaad mindset—and established itself as a major global manufacturer of both low-cost vehicles as well as electric cars—two of the fastest growing segments in the global automotive market.

In 2004, Renault launched Logan, an affordable, robust, and well-designed car priced at 5,000 euros (today it retails for US$10,000). The Logan has become Renault’s cash cow across recession-hit European markets as well as in many emerging economies. But Ghosn wants to do more. In 2012, he dispatched Gérard Detourbet, a senior executive from Paris who was running Renault’s entry-level car business, to India. From his new base in Chennai, Detourbet will design and build a “global small car”—a US$5,000 vehicle that will first be launched in India and then introduced in Brazil and South Africa. You can bet that when Detourbet returns to Renault’s headquarters in Paris, he will bring with him the frugal jugaad mindset he honed in India.

Siemens, the German industrial giant, is also leveraging the jugaad mindset of its R&D groups in India and China to develop frugal solutions that deliver higher value to customers. For instance, Siemens’ Indian engineers—in close collaboration with their German peers—have developed a Fetal Heart Monitor that uses inexpensive microphone technology rather than costly ultrasound technology. This affordable Fetal Heart Monitor is part of Siemens’ larger portfolio of frugal solutions labelled SMART (Simple, Maintenance-friendly, Affordable, Reliable, and Timely-to-market). SMART products are 40-60 percent cheaper than high-end solutions. They are also energy-efficient as well as quicker and easier to implement, use, and maintain. Siemens estimates there is a US$200 billion global market for SMART products. As Peter Löscher, CEO of Siemens, affirms: “Scarcity of resources is not an impediment but an enabler (of innovation).”

In coming years, we believe that more Western CEOs will adopt the jugaad mindset within their organisations—just as Paul Polman, Carlos Ghosn, and Peter Löscher have deftly done. In doing so, more Western firms will be able to innovate faster, better, and cheaper—and produce a steady stream of frugal solutions to delight value-conscious customers.

Navi Radjou (navi@naviradjou.com) is a Silicon Valley-based strategy consultant, a World Economic Forum faculty member, and a fellow at the University of Cambridge’s Judge Business School. Jaideep Prabhu (j.prabhu@jbs.cam.ac.uk) is the Jawaharlal Nehru Professor of Indian Business and Enterprise and Director of the Centre for India & Global Business at the University of Cambridge’s Judge Business School. Radjou and Prabhu are co-authors of the bestseller Jugaad Innovation: Think Frugal, Be Flexible, Generate Breakthrough Growth (Jossey-Bass, 2012).

Source: http://knowledge.insead.edu/innovation/frugal-innovation-a-new-business-paradigm-2375

38 Awesome Quotes on Change

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1. “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” - Charles Darwin

2. “Change before you have to.” - Jack Welch

3. “People don’t resist change. They resist being changed!” - Peter Senge

4. “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” - Leo Tolstoy

5. “The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” - Albert Einstein

6. “Nothing endures but change.” - Heraclitus

7. “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” - Buckminster Fuller

8. “Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.” - Margaret Mead

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9. “I put a dollar in one of those change machines. Nothing changed.”-George Carlin

10. “The key to change… is to let go of fear.” - Rosanne Cash

11. “When people are ready to, they change. They never do it before then, and sometimes they die before they get around to it. You can’t make them change if they don’t want to, just like when they do want to, you can’t stop them.” - Andy Warhol

12. “Be the change you want to see in the world.” - Mahatma Gandhi

13. “Things do not change; we change.” - Henry David Thoreau

14. “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” - St. Francis of Assisi

15. “We change whether we like it or not.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

16. “When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.” - Benjamin Franklin

17. “All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.” - Anatole France

18. “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” - Victor Frankl

19. “Without accepting the fact that everything changes, we cannot find perfect composure. But unfortunately, although it is true, it is difficult for us to accept it. Because we cannot accept the truth of transience, we suffer.” - Shunryu Suzuki

20. “If you want to make enemies, try to change something.” - Woodrow Wilson

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21. “Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof.” - John Kenneth Galbraith

22. “Our only security is our ability to change.” - John Lilly

23. “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” - Maya Angelou

24. “Life belongs to the living, and he who lives must be prepared for changes.” - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

25. “The only way to make sense of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.” - Alan Watts

26. “The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress.” - Charles Kettering

27. “We live in a moment of history where change is so speeded up that we begin to see the present only when it is already disappearing.” - R.D. Laing

28. “People change and forget to tell each other.” - Lillian Hellman

29. “The rate of change is not going to slow down anytime soon. If anything, competition in most industries will probably speed up even more in the next few decades.” - John Kotter

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30. “Company cultures are like country cultures. Never try to change one. Try, instead, to work with what you’ve got.” - Peter Drucker

31. “In times of rapid change, experience could be your worst enemy.”-J. Paul Getty

32. “Change your thoughts and you change your world.” - Norman Vincent Peale

33. “Know what’s weird? Day by day, nothing seems to change, but pretty soon…everything’s different.” - Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes

34. “We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the life that is waiting for us.” - Joseph Campbell

35. “It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.” - C. S. Lewis

36. “If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.” – Lao Tzu

37. “The changes we dread most may contain our salvation.” – Barbara Kingsolver

38. “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” - Anon

Big thanks to Val Vadeboncouer for locating these quotes.

Source: http://www.ideachampions.com/weblogs/archives/2013/01/1_it_is_not_the.shtml

What really blocks innovation

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After a week at the beach over the holidays and a lot of time reflecting on innovation work, I thought it would be interesting to start the new year by writing about what blocks innovation.  I think much of what is written and said about the sclerotic nature of innovation activities focus on symptoms and not root causes.  Until we understand the underlying issues associated with innovation, it’s difficult to do innovation well, if at all.  Over the last four months we’ve had great success using the Executive Workmat with executive teams, helping them to understand the components of successful, sustained innovation.  But what’s become obvious as we’ve led workshops and discussions about the Workmat is that there are a number of hidden objections, concerns and disagreements about innovation in executive teams.  Until these issues are resolved, tools and methods won’t matter.  Training and certification are useless.  Even your interaction with third party consultants will suffer.

If there are a number of hidden or unspoken barriers or concerns about innovation, what are they, and how do we address them before trying to start innovation initiatives or projects?  I think there are four issues that block innovation but are often hidden from view:

  1. Executive alignment
  2. Uncertainty about near term and longer term objectives
  3. Resource allocation
  4. Don’t want to “go first” but don’t want to be “left behind”

Alignment

After countless business books, management philosophies, balanced scorecards and other means of obtaining executive alignment, you’d think that every organization is closely aligned to strategic goals and outcomes.  Where innovation is concerned, nothing is further from the truth.  When we talk to executive teams about innovation, its clear that there are very different perspectives, different goals and even different definitions between and among members of many executive teams.  What most executive teams are aligned to is obtaining the next quarter, staying within budget and driving up share price.  Anything that may call any of these objectives into question is anathema to the team.  While executives demand innovation, they hope it will happen in ways that do not disrupt the highly tuned “business as usual” operating models I described in Relentless Innovation.   Further, even when there is some agreement about the need for “innovation”, what is usually described as innovation is really incremental change at best, or continuous improvement.  Executive teams lack a common language and definitions about innovation, and limit their sights and definitions to incremental, internal and product-oriented innovation, rather than the breadth and depth of innovation potentials and outcomes that are possible and necessary.  The vision for innovation is cramped, cautious and serendipitous at best.

Uncertainty about objectives

Which is most important?  Obtaining short term goals or envisioning long term needs and objectives?  And what does “long term” mean anyway?  After years of right-sizing, most organizations have just enough people to accomplish the day to day work.  Pulling the best people from the day to day activities to focus on longer term innovation seems risky and dangerous.  Where should the teams place emphasis?  How much of the existing time, resource and focus should be placed on day to day efficiency?  How much should be focused on longer term objectives with less than certain outcomes?  If resources are reallocated to innovation, what should the team “Stop” doing?  Here lies the rub.  We all have limited resources and far more opportunities than we can pursue.  Which are the most important, and what should we “start” doing, and what should we “stop” doing in order to free up the resources necessary to innovate?  This question is probably the most difficult for many executive teams to answer.  Until there is clarity about objectives and they are placed in the correct balance by the CEO or other senior executives, the management team will revert to what is safe and predictable, and innovation will be starved for attention and resources.

Resource Allocation

As noted above, until the objectives are clear, little focus is placed on innovation, and resources are scarce.  But there’s more to this than simply creating more focus around objectives.  It’s not a matter of simply “more” resources, but a matter of the “right” resources at the right time.  Innovation demands the best people in the organization, not simply the people who are available or who can be freed up from their existing activities.  This is not a case where more bodies are necessary.  Innovation suffers unless the best people are involved.  When the most respected people are involved, the ideas seem less risky, they have the backing of the best people in the organization.  When people who enjoy less respect are involved in innovation, you send the signal that innovation is less important, and the ideas are more easily ignored.  What is the level of investment your team is willing to provide for innovation, not just in the number of people, but the caliber of the people?  You send a very powerful message as an executive team with the choices you make, both in terms of the number of people, as well as the type and caliber of people.  Think of it this way:  who on your team can you least afford to “give up” to an innovation activity?  If innovation is as important as we think it is, can you afford for them to not be on the team?

No pioneers but plenty of followers

No one wants to be the first to try out a new activity or methodology when so much is on the line, especially in organizations with highly efficient processes and limited resources.  So it can be very difficult to find an executive on the management team willing to take the plunge and start an innovation activity.  I’ve been fortunate enough to sit in on meetings where the CEO asks his or her team, “who wants to lead an innovation effort?” and the silence is overwhelming.  Everyone in the room recognizes the possibilities and the risks involved.  There’s a palpable sense of fear based mostly on concerns about “failing” to achieve a novel concept and also based on distracting the organization from their day to day activities.  Yet what is also interesting is that every executive wants as much investment and attention as the next one, so while no one wants to go first, most don’t want to go “last” or see another individual gain a lot of credibility because they were successful.  Don’t kid yourself, any executive team is a group of people who are at the top of their game, and who want every last resource they can obtain and every last opportunity they can pursue.  While innovation is risky, these executives don’t necessarily want to be the first to the plate, and definitely don’t want others to gain an inordinate about of credit for the success they may achieve.

Clarity, alignment, resourcing, leadership

Before asking your teams to innovate, examine the commitment and alignment of the executive team.  Sustained innovation can only occur when there is clarity about goals, alignment within the executive team to the goals, deep commitments to appropriate staffing and resource allocation, and the willingness to lead into risky or uncertain initiatives.  When these factors are present, innovation can flourish.  When any one is absent, innovation will suffer, because we tend to revert to safer, more familiar activities when we feel threatened.

Source: http://innovateonpurpose.blogspot.com/2013/01/what-really-blocks-innovation.html